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Sommersby (1993)

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A farmer returns home from the Civil War, but his wife begins to suspect that the man is an impostor.

Director:

Jon Amiel

Writers:

Daniel Vigne (film The Return of Martin Guerre), Jean-Claude Carrière (film The Return of Martin Guerre) | 4 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... Jack
Jodie Foster ... Laurel
Lanny Flaherty ... Buck
Wendell Wellman ... Travis
Bill Pullman ... Orin
Brett Kelley Brett Kelley ... Little Rob
William Windom ... Reverend Powell
Clarice Taylor ... Esther
Frankie Faison ... Joseph
R. Lee Ermey ... Dick Mead (as Ronald Lee Ermey)
Richard Hamilton Richard Hamilton ... Doc Evans
Karen Kirschenbauer ... Mrs. Evans
Carter McNeese Carter McNeese ... Storekeeper Wilson
Dean Whitworth Dean Whitworth ... Tom Clemmons
Stan Kelly Stan Kelly ... John Green
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Storyline

Set in the south of the United States just after the Civil War, Laurel Sommersby is just managing to work the farm without her husband Jack, believed killed in the Civil War. By all accounts, Jack Sommersby was not a pleasant man, thus when he returns, Laurel has mixed emotions. It appears that Jack has changed a great deal, leading some people to believe that this is not actually Jack but an impostor. Laurel herself is unsure, but willing to take the man into her home, and perhaps later into her heart... Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She knew his face. His touch. His voice. She knew everything about him... But the truth.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Stranger Within See more »

Filming Locations:

Appomattox, Virginia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,104,624, 7 February 1993, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$50,081,992

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film unit also had to deal with torrential rain and flash floods, in which Gere became a hero, personally rescuing horses and livestock from probable drowning. Film extra Billy Russell recalls, "They were filming a scene when the heavens opened. The river which had been swelling after heavy rains all month, burst its banks and all hell broke loose. The cast and crew fled indoors to wait until it had passed, when Gere remembered the horses tied up in a nearby stable. Still wearing his Civil War costume, he waded through the water and by the same time we reached the stables, the water was quite high, really dangerous. He untied his own horse and then supervised the removal of all the livestock to a safer area." See more »

Goofs

The fiddle being played at the homecoming dance is fitted with a chin piece, which was not used until the 20th century. See more »

Quotes

Laurel Sommersby: You are not Jack Sommersby, so why do you keep going on pretending that you are?
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: How do you know I'm not?
Laurel Sommersby: I know because...
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: How do you know?
Laurel Sommersby: I know because...
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: How do you know?
Laurel Sommersby: I know because I never loved him the way that I love you.
John Robert 'Jack' Sommersby: Now Laurel tell me, from the bottom of your heart. Am I your husband?
Laurel Sommersby: Yes, you are.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Will & Grace: Object of My Rejection (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Sweet and noble tear jerker
17 April 2001 | by gberkeSee all my reviews

This is a sweet film with noble causes and a grand love story. I've seen it umm, 4 times? now... An improbable story, but moral, epic, just after the civil war, of an imposter southern gentleman returning to his run down plantation, wife, child, and joining all together, black and white, to bring a tobacco farm to being, against great odds, and prosperity to the town.

But the man he is posing as must be prosecuted as a criminal... the imposter can continue the ruse and die for the crime, or confess his true identity, and undo his love, his work, his community. He must prove to the court that he is indeed Jack Sommersby, and must extract Fosters (his wife's) testimony, against her will, that he is Jack Sommersby, because as Jack, he will die. A few grand lines... when Foster must say that he is indeed her husband, that she never loved "Jack the way I loved you" and Gere, in his cell, asks her to be there at his hanging "I can do this thing if you are there."

I've enjoyed it each time I've seen it, and it brings grand tears each time.


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